London Design Festival 2016 Medal Winners

Each year, London Design Festival recognises the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talents to London and the industry with four London Design Medal awarded:

The London Design Medal: the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

Design Innovation Medal: celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally. It honours an individual for whom design lies at the core of their development and success.

Emerging Design Medal: recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career.

London Design Medal: David Adjaye

Supported by Panerai

David Adjaye works
David Adjaye works

David Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. He graduated with a BA from the London South Bank University, before accomplishing an MA in Architecture from the Royal College of Art in 1993.

Adjaye later taught at the Royal College of Art, and held professorships at the universities of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. He first set-up his studio in 1994 and Adjaye Associates now has four international offices, with projects across the world.

His influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. His work spans master planning, retail and commercial buildings, cultural institutions, residential buildings, hospitals and furniture.

Adjaye Associates believes that architecture presents opportunities for transformation – materially, conceptually and sociologically. Driven by the desire to enrich and improve daily life, the practice’s buildings are designed to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. Inspiration is drawn from many influences around the world, and the practice’s work clearly articulates an enthusiasm for place and identity. The emphasis on light, a distinctive material and colour palette, the play between positive and negative and the ability to turn constraints into compelling narratives, are critical themes.

Emerging Talent Medal: Bethan Laura Wood

Supported by Swarovski

Bethan Laura Wood obtained a MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art, under the tuition of Jurgen Bey and Martino Gamper.

Since graduating in 2009, Bethan has built a multidisciplinary practice characterised by material investigation, artisan collaboration, and a passion for colour and detail. Wood enjoys exploring the relationships we make with objects in our everyday lives, and questions how they can become cultural conduits. She is interested in critical approaches to achieving sustainability in a mass consumption, production-driven context.

Wood has undertaken multiple residency programmes, from London’s Design Museum to W Hotel in Mexico City, and regularly works with artisans from the regions of Venice and Vicenza in Italy. Wood has been commissioned by a variety of international partners to create works and installations, including Nilufar Gallery, Abet Laminati, Kvadrat, Bitossi Ceramiche, Tory Burch, Tolix and Hermés. Her work has been exhibited in institutions such as the V&A Museum of Childhood, Swiss Institute New York, Daelim Museum and MOT, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 

Design Innovation Medal: Daan Roosegaarde

Supported by Airbnb

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde is a creative thinker and maker of social designs which explore the relationship between people, technology and space. Roosegaarde has been driven by nature’s gifts such as light emitting fireflies and jellyfishes since an early age. His fascination for nature and technology is reflected in designs such as Smart Highway (sunlight and nighttime glow-charged roads), Waterlicht (an installation which shows the force of water) and the Smog Free Project (the largest outdoor air purifier in the world which makes jewellery from smog).

Roosegaarde graduated from The Berlage Institute with a masters in architecture. He founded Studio Roosegaarde in 2007, where he works with his team of designers and engineers towards a better future. Together they develop ‘Landscapes of the Future’ building smart sustainable prototypes for the cities of tomorrow. Roosegaarde has been named Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and Artist of the Year 2016 in The Netherlands.

Roosegaarde has won the INDEX Design Award, the World Technology Award, two Dutch Design Awards, the Charlotte Köhler Award, and China’s Most Successful Design Award. He has exhibited at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Tate Modern, Tokyo National Museum, Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris, Victoria & Albert Museum, and various public spaces in Europe and Asia. Selected by Forbes and Good 100 as a creative change maker, he shares his visionary ideas frequently at conferences across the world such as TED and Design Indaba.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: Kenneth Grange

Supported by Johnson Tiles

Sir Kenneth Grange was an architectural assistant for seven years following art school, and spent time working as a technical illustrator in the National Service. He then went on to start his own practice as an interior and exhibition designer in 1956.

In 1972, with three graphic designers and one architectural partner, he founded Pentagram which is now an international design practice with offices in London, Germany and the USA. His work has spanned half a century and his designs have remained familiar in the home, street and station. Some of these include the intercity 125 train; Adshel bus shelters; the first UK parking meter; the Chef and many other products for Kenwood; razors for Wilkinson Sword; the Instamatic and other cameras for Kodak; loudspeakers for Bang & Olufsen; Parker pens; lamps for Anglepoise and many products for Japanese clients.

He has twice won the Duke of Edinburgh’s prize, received ten Design Council awards, is a Royal Society Designer for Industry and has a CBE. He has six honorary doctorates including one at the Royal College of Art where he is a visiting professor.

He is the first designer to be given a one-man show at the V&A in 1983, and he was similarly honoured in Tokyo. Grange’s show ‘Making Britain Modern’ opened at the Design Museum in 2011 and he was knighted in 2013.